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Below-average Primera harvests expected

  • Key Message Update
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • August 2014
Below-average Primera harvests expected

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Central America, Primera harvests are projected to be well below average due to poor seasonal performance to date. As a result of two consecutive years of losses to staple food harvests due to rainfall irregularities, plus lower levels of coffee labor income, the poorest households in the eastern and western areas of Guatemala are currently classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In the southern and western portions of Honduras and the western area of El Salvador, households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Food insecurity in Nicaragua is currently Minimal (IPC Phase 1).

    • Between September and December, food security will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in most of the region’s affected areas, despite Primera harvests. Some areas of western Guatemala that do not harvest during the Primera season will remain in Phase 3. These levels of acute food insecurity, atypical for the post-harvest period, are driven by 1) the magnitude of crop losses, which will prevent subsistence households from replenishing their food reserves, 2) prices of regionally produced staple foods, which are already above-average in some places, and are expected to increase further, and 3) income obtained from wage labor will not be sufficient to compensate for food shortages. This situation is particularly critical in northern Nicaragua, where the drought has had the greatest impact.

    • Extremely poor households across large areas of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador will experience a rapid deterioration in their food security in early 2015. Atypically high levels of humanitarian assistance, possibly the highest since Hurricane Mitch in 1998, will likely be required in order to avoid a food crisis.

    • In Haiti, food security has improved throughout the country due to ongoing harvests since June. Food availability will increase until August. Some areas in Artibonite, North-West, South-East, and Nippes Departments that were in a Crisis (IPC Phase 3) have gradually improved to Stress (IPC Phase 2). For July to December, food security is expected to deteriorate in the South and Central Plateau areas due to the dryness currently affecting the performance of the second agriculture season.


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    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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